Vision Australia has answered some common questions on the NDIS below.
Q. Will existing clients of Vision Australia who are not eligible for NDIS funding still be able to access our support services for free?
Vision Australia will continue to provide services to people who are blind or have low vision free of charge. We are able to provide these services through government funding and generous donations from the Australian public.
To find out if you are eligible for Vision Australia services please call us on 1300 84 74 66 or visit our website at www.visionaustralia.org
Q. What services and equipment will the NDIS provide?
The NDIS will provide funding for ‘reasonable and necessary’ support, services and equipment. There are guidelines to what can be funded through the scheme, but as a general rule the supports and services should help a you to:
- achieve your goals
- do things on your own and become independent
- develop skills for day to day living
- take part in the community
- work and earn money.
Here are some examples of how the NDIS can help you.
- Mobility – moving safely in the home or community (equipment and advice for the home, a white cane, a seeing eye dog, training on how to use these items and guidance on living with low vision);
- Communication – devices and training that helps with reading and writing (assistive technology – scanners, refreshable braille displays, magnifiers, portable and desktop CCTVs; and software – screen readers, JAWS) and general communication technology like a smart phone;
- Self-care and self-management – strategies, training, tips and equipment to organise your home and assist with independent living;
- Social interaction –services or activities to help you connect with the community, and support participation in recreation, cultural and sporting activities;
- Learning –early intervention, aids and equipment, training, and/or access to a variety of services such as literacy services (braille, access to our Feelix Library for Children, adaptive technology training), vocational education and training, therapy, accessing information, and transcription. You may also need help getting around which involves orientation and mobility training. It will depend on your life stage and individual needs; and
- Capacity for social and economic participation – support to help you find meaningful employment and participate in the community.
Q. What if I do not want NDIS support but still want services from Vision Australia?
If you are eligible for NDIS support, but choose not to participate, you may still be able to receive services from Vision Australia free of charge. Vision Australia is able to provide services through both government funding and generous donations from the Australian public.
To find out if you are eligible for Vision Australia services please call us on 1300 84 74 66.
Q. What does the NDIS mean for people over 65 years old with blindness or low vision?
People over 65 years of age are not eligible for NDIS support. There are some exceptions:
- People who are eligible to access DisabilityCare before they turn 65 will be able to choose to continue to receive DisabilityCare support or opt into the aged care system.
- Some people aged over 65 years old who currently access programs at Vision Australia are funded through Victorian Government disability funding. In relation to Barwon, if an individual aged over 65 years old who lives in the launch site, but is already on the Disability Support Register (Victoria), they will continue to get support from the block funding at the Agency’s disposal.
Q. What is Vision Australia doing for people in the over 65 age group who aren’t eligible for the NDIS?
Vision Australia is advocating for the critical need for funding of specialist services for people in this age group. We have made submissions to government and worked with other organisations in the disability and aged care sectors to get a better outcome for seniors dealing with blindness or low vision.
Vision Australia’s aim is that seniors with blindness or low vision are able to get the support they need:
- To feel physically and emotionally safe.;
- Remain connected to and engaged with their local communities, families, and friends.
- Remain living in their own home for as long as possible doing their own everyday tasks.
Q. Where can I find more information about the NDIS?
You can find more information on the NDIS website, including details on the national rollout. Visit www.ndis.gov.au or call the National Disability Insurance Agency on 1800 800 110 between 8am and 8pm (EST) weekdays.
You can also contact Vision Australia by calling 1300 84 74 66.